ALCOHOLISM/ADDICTION/DEPRESSION TOUGH LOVE WORKS!!!!
Anybody who has been involved in the world of Alcoholism and Depression , be they the sufferer themselves or close family and friends are well aware of the term "Tough Love". But what does this actually mean and has it a place in the treatment of these two awful silent killers?
At one time or another as a sufferer of Alcoholism, Addiction and Depression you will be confronted by this alternative "treatment". The Anxiety of trying to help you will push your loved ones to their limits.It normally makes it's appearance in your Caregivers office and is offered to your loved ones as something to seriously look at. I had "Tough Love" applied to me and it worked. A final ultimatum from my loving partner, Mary. She asked me to choose between the bottle and her. Sitting today years after this event it seems like a complete no-brainer. Of course I would choose her. However at the time I was lost in the dark world of Alcoholism and Depression. A very dark and isolated place where reason, compassion and logic have been replaced by hopelessness, despair, suspicion and confusion.
I made the right choice and after Sleep Therapy for Alcoholism and ECT for Depression I re-entered the world of reality. So it worked for me. Would it work for you is the question?
Generally "Tough Love" will involve family members forcing the issue with the sufferer, in most cases against their will. It could be forcing you into rehab, a divorce or the immediate withdrawal of alcohol and drugs. For the sufferer it means a very unpleasant choice to be made. They will be very aware of the consequences of these actions to them. On most occasions these decisions will be taken with the support of the Doctor, a Psychiatrist, Psychologist etc.
Mary explained to me later that it was a terrible decision for her to make but she felt it was the only way to get me on the road to recovery. Addiction and my gradual downfall forced her into action. Her Anxiety of me never recovering tipped the scales. Even my Psychologist had a good laugh with me later. In my case, all's well that ends well. But this is not always the case. The "Tough Love" scenario can lead to the addict digging in their heels and almost adapting a " nobody loves me anymore". Of course this is not true but in their condition it can be seen as an act of disloyality and betrayal. It should be used with caution and at the right time.
Presently I am helping an old friend battle with his Addiction and Depression problems. He is a wonderful man and like all of us has his demons. Years of abuse and illness, hospitals and promises have not worked. A visit from his spouse for my advise resulted in a decision to confront him with an ultimatum. Clean your act up or lose the love of your life. It was not an easy decision for me to take but at the end of the day the object is to save his life and his mind. If it means he is going to be pissed off with us all, so be it.
Apply it with compassion for your crippled loved one. The Addiction and health of the sufferer and the Anxiety of the loved one will more than likely bring this Tough Love scenario into play. As a general rule I would seriously consider it when the illness has reached extreme levels and the overall health of the sufferer is approaching dangerous territory. With luck, prayer and timely medical intervention you can hopefully all laugh about it later on.
Turn your "Tough Love" into "Tender Love". The results can be spectacular.
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Please have a look at my own Recovery Stories from Alcoholism and Depression
Inside the ECT Shock Chamber - My Story Part 1
After ECT for Alcoholism/Depression/Addiction- My Story Part 2
Alcoholism and Depression - My Recovery Part 1
Unhappy Hour-Drying Out from Alcoholism/Depression - My Story Part 2
Also please have a look at these Posts relating to Alcoholism/Depression and Addiction Recovery